November 1, 2021

The measurement of the different states of matter has been a topic of interest for many years, since it allows us to identify qualities of a compound, for this reason, an infinity of instruments have been invented, among which the rotameter stands out .

Despite not being one of the most listened to, the rotameter has a large number of properties that make it one of the best allies when measuring qualities of both liquids and gases.

We must understand that when we are in the middle it is necessary to know all the instruments because success will depend on that, knowing how to choose the most suitable ones. For this reason, in the next few lines I will explain what this particular instrument is about.

What is a Rotameter?

The first thing to clarify is that rotameters are a type of flowmeter focused on the industrial area. The essential function is to measure flows , whether of liquids or gases, in order to determine a series of qualities, such as flow.

In addition, it should be noted that this instrument works with a cylindrical float that plays with the densities of the fluid in order to determine this property, using another element such as the Bernoulli equation.

This instrument is also known as a flow meter , as it measures the flow rate based on the pressure jump that is made constantly.

The flow refers to that amount of fluid that moves inside a tube for each unit of time, these are what the flowmeters , flowmeters and especially the rotameter measure , what varies is the operating mechanism of each of them .

What is a rotameter for?

As I mentioned before, the rotameter is a specialized instrument for measuring the flow in the different tubes or pipes, in order to know the flow, density and other variables necessary for the chemical and physical analysis of that compound.

Its function is almost exclusive since it is a specialized instrument, belonging to the group of flowmeters that only and exclusively measure flow.

What is important is that they are present in the laboratories of different sciences, since these properties of liquids and gases are very important when carrying out hypotheses, experiments or analyzes.

How does a rotameter work?

The rotameter works with a float which has a cylindrical shape whose density is greater than the flow and is placed in the tube. The principle of operation that acts is that of variable area, which is how the flow of a material is capable of raising the float inside the tube in order to increase the area of ​​passage of said flow.

It should be noted that the height with which the float rises is directly proportional to the flow and that said float simply moves vertically and its equilibrium point is the gravitational force.

This is marked by the float on a scale and that difference in values ​​is then calculated by a Bernoulli equation, specifically with the data from points one and two marked by the rotameter.

Rotameter uses

The rotameter generally fulfills its function in a large number of scenarios, which makes it a universal instrument that is worth taking advantage of. The most prominent uses are the following:

  • It allows controlling everything related to the performance of hydraulic and hydro-pneumatic pumps.
  • It allows to make a dosage of the different additives used in the industries of the health sector and in the chemical area.
  • It intervenes in procedures related to the mixture, which use these values ​​to be able to stay within the established limits.
  • Works on piping systems to control all aspects of flow within piping .
  • It has an active participation in the different laboratories, both physical, chemical, biological, medical, among others.

Definitely when it comes to rotameter, it has a wide field to act on, which shows its versatility and its effectiveness in solving problems and controlling flow.

Rotameter Types

Rotameters are divided into a large number of types according to the manufacturing material as well as the operating mechanism, the main models being the following:

  • Glass Rotameter

This type of rotameter, its tube is made of glass , usually borosilicate, which gives the product resistance, ensuring much greater durability. In addition, there are glass windows that run through the entire seal in order to be able to observe the tube.

  • Plastic Rotameter

This is one of the most economical rotameters and is generally intended for tasks related to the measurement of small flows. In addition, it should be noted that they have a high resistance and the plastic is mostly polycarbonate.

  • Metallic rotameter

This type of rotameter was born from the need to be able to measure compounds that have exorbitant temperatures that cannot even be supported by the same glass. The materials for its elaboration are generally brass, aluminum and in this case, stainless steel.

  • Acrylic Rotameter

It is another of the cheap alternatives in terms of rotameters and, like those of plastics, they specialize in measuring small diameter tubes , being the most accurate of all, in this scenario.

  • Purge rotameter

This is a type of specialized rotameter , as it is used when the density and quantity of the flow is small.

  • Rotámetro By-pass

It is not related at any time to the differential pressure , on the other hand it is dedicated only to measure the flow rate using a scale for linear measurement and a diaphragm.

  • Mixed rotameter

This is an instant rotameter model, which enjoys qualities such as simplicity and low cost. It allows to make flow measurements of both liquids and solids of large or small diameter.

  • Rotameter for low flow rates

This rotameter is specialized in the measurement of flows of small diameter, high pressure values ​​and in those fluids that are extremely difficult to measure and are generally metallic.

  • Rotameter for large flows

On the contrary, there are these types of rotameters that perfectly measure those high flow flows, with high temperatures and high pressure. It should be noted that they have a series of additional devices that allow it to combat all conditions that are generated by the intensity of the flow.

  • Rotameter with electrical transducers

The transducers are those elements that are attached to the float in order to determine the measurements provided by the float. In this case, it uses a magnetic system to be able to follow all the changes generated by the inflow into the tube.

  • Rotameter with pneumatic transducers

This type of rotameter also uses magnetic energy to achieve its purpose, as well as a pneumatic mechanism located between the two nozzles of the instrument.

Rotameters are instruments that by necessity have been specialized, in order to fulfill all the tasks for which they are destined in the different fields.

Characteristics of a Rotameter

The rotameter is a particular instrument that has a number of characteristics that will allow it to make flow measurements that are so important in research fields, the main ones being:

  • It has a practical interchangeable system that allows you to move the tubes and floats according to the flow to be measured.
  • The tubes are generally cone-shaped.
  • The floats can vary in the way they are made according to the flow rate to be measured.
  • The scale is mostly linear due to the fact that the flow is proportional to the area.
  • They have impressive accuracy, however they do relate to proper calibration of it.
  • Its repeatability is almost perfect.
  • Rotameters are generally best for measuring small flow diameters.

In view of this, rotameters are a very complex element that man has designed given the amount of characteristics it possesses, which allows it to excellently meet all the needs in the field that it is placed.

Importance of the Rotameter

The rotameter is a transcendental instrument especially in the industrial sector that uses it every day to make measurements, dosages and flow analysis of the different compounds with which it works.

In addition, it should be noted the expansion that this instrument has and how it has been able to consolidate itself in almost all scientific laboratories of the different branches of research.

Undoubtedly, the rotameter is a broad, universal and necessary element in any situation that needs to make measurements in terms of flow, flow, density , viscosity , among others.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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